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Hero image for Ainsley Gardiner: From Kombi Nation to Boy...

Ainsley Gardiner: From Kombi Nation to Boy...

Interview – 2010

Growing up, you could find Ainsley Gardiner (Te-Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Awa) at Whakatane's local cinema on most Fridays. In 1995 she joined Larry Parr at Kahukura Productions, where she would produce low budget feature Kombi Nation (2003) and co-produce TV comedy Love Bites. Then she teamed up with Taika Waititi for Oscar-nominated short film Two Cars, One Night, and established Whenua Films with Cliff Curtis. The trio struck creative gold with World War II short Tama Tū, Waititi's first movie Eagle vs Shark and 2010 hit Boy.

In this ScreenTalk, Gardiner talks about:

  • How great early experiences at Kahukura set her up for her successful career
  • The highs and lows of low budget film production on Kombi Nation
  • The challenges involved in dealing with TV networks
  • Her feelings on the liquidation of Kahukura Productions
  • Her thoughts on Taika Waititi’s early scripts, and how their working relationship developed
  • Her reaction to Two Cars, One Night's Oscar nomination
  • Her strategies in producing  Eagle vs Shark
  • How the script for Boy was developed
  • The challenges of casting Boy
  • How the Boy soundtrack came about
  • Plans for her next feature project, a horror movie
This video was first uploaded on 19 April 2010, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview, Camera and Editing – James Coleman
I was still really over producing. I had never got into the film industry to be a producer, and in fact, for the last 10 years it's been somewhat begrudgingly that I've produced these projects — but, what I couldn't deny is, I loved working with Taika. And the scripts were just so damned perfect on paper: I just couldn't resist them, actually.
– Ainsley Gardiner on finding her groove while working with writer/director Taika Waititi